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Symphony 5 / Cello Concerto

15 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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$15.79
$5.97 $0.24
$15.79 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 1 left in stock. Sold by QwikPix and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.


Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
  • Sample this album Title - Artist (Sample)
1
30
17:40
Album Only
2
30
5:20
3
30
15:58
Album Only
4
30
10:10
Album Only
5
30
6:17
6
30
11:06
Album Only
7
30
5:24
8
30
4:39

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Alliance
  • ASIN: B0000026PO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,256 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By meltbanana on July 30, 2004
Format: Audio CD
The 1979 Live Tokyo performance of Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony is the one I listen to the most. I know a lot of people prefer the 1959 performance (available on Sony coupled with the 9th) and say to avoid this '79 performance. I personally find both performances to be indispensable. The '59 is a classic and historically important performance with very contrasting tempos and moods, with a very nervous feel to it. This '79 performance is much grander and creepier, taking its time to let the terror and paranoia sink in. I find it to be the most frightening performance i have heard of this symphony. The final timpani and bass drum blows are as brutal as you can get.

I encourage you not to think in terms of which of Bernstein's recordings is "better". Instead, one should appreciate the drastically different approach he took with this piece 20 years after. I would get both, but if you can only buy one, you really can't go wrong with either.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Michael Brad Richman HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on September 26, 2000
Format: Audio CD
The Shostakovich Symphony No. 5 and the Cello Concerto featured here are great recordings, but I would suggest buying different CDs. First, I find the Bernstein Century version of the 5th Symphony to be superior in terms of emotional quality to this Bernstein version, and the Bernstein Century disc includes Shostakovich's 9th Symphony as well. However, you should be aware that the Bernstein Century performance is from 1959 (though it sounds amazing!), and this one is a digital recording from the 80s. In terms of the Cello Concerto, the exact same recording is available on a Yo-Yo Ma CD that couples the Shostakovich with the incredible Kabalevsky Cello Concerto. I know it costs more to purchase two discs than one, but the additional music is just so good you shouldn't skip it. Trust me, I bought this title first, then traded it in for the Bernstein Century and the Shostakovich/Kabalevsky. Don't repeat my mistake.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 15, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This CD has the ultimate Leonard Bernstein performance of Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony. He paces the first movement slower than his overrated 1959 recording, giving it time to develop,making the sinister march sound very well integrated into the score and hence, much more menacing. The scherzo is paced and played flawlessly, correcting Bernstein's earlier romp. The Largo is played to maximum intensity and the finale is one of the best "triumphant" recordings out there. It's fast but not too fast and sounds all the more satisfying. The performance all around is very intense and not at all flaccid or plodding as the review below this says, it's just that Bernstein takes his time to develop the themes, with very rewarding results. The sound quality is superb, with great detail and massive brass.
The Cello Concerto no. 1 is played flawlessly by Yo-Yo Ma, under Eugene Ormandy's masterful baton, with excellent orchestral accompaniment.
In short if you were considering Bernstein's earlier performance on "Bernstein Century", skip it and get this one instead.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 5, 1999
Format: Audio CD
This is an exciting and well played recording of Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony. Leonard Bernstein was one of the best interpreters of the Fifth Symphony. Even Shostakovich himself thought so. Yo-Yo Ma performs the Cello Concerto almost flawlessly.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Shota Hanai on September 28, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Bernstein was one of the greatest Shostakovich conductor at the time, and for a while the 1958 recording had been my very favorite. The tempo was definitely at its most satiable, especially with the fourth movement. His anguisehd emotions were there, and so were his triumphant vigor. The bad news is that despite its intensity (and being overrated), the sound quality is poor and saps away the color of the instruments, making it sounds like some high school orchestra performance just playing music without music.... or in better terms, it's like dining a beef steak without its delicious juice.

I came to become much more satisfied when I heard this performance. The tempi wasn't as demanding, but it did give a much more refined, cleaner performance. The sound quality was much better at the time as well. The quality really gives out the emotions Bernstein could have really conveyed. I can consider this a fully-done recording, and Lenny, and the recording, has done a magnificent job.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin R. Garrison on November 2, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I own several other versions of this monumental symphony and this one is my favorite. I also own an earlier Bernstein version that has inexplicably rushed tempo for the last movement, but he nails it on this recording. The ending in particular is great. The strings hit the defiant middle finger note over and over as if to say to the Soviet 'authorities,' "There. Is this simple enough for you?" And it is simple. Simply brilliant and wonderful.

Haitink's version is way too slow and ponderous even though he's one of my favorite conductors. Another live recording out there is not the best quality. So this is the one you should get.

Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No. 1 is transcendant. Mesmerizing. Haunting. Riveting. Resplendent. Beyond words.

Great performances here. Buy this recording.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dana M. Oliver on January 29, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is an excellent interpretation of 2 of shostakovich's most wonderful works. The orchestra is so sensitive to the music, and it is truly moving, even on cd. Yo Yo Ma recording a not so often played piece is more than excellent, as he always is. Every cellist should own this!
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